What Comal County Well Owners Should Know - Especially During Drought
The Trinity Aquifer is a limestone formation that stores water much like a sponge. It is not an underground lake and is vastly different from the Edward's Aquifer which is the primary source for water in San Antonio; When you hear the monitor well level on the news, that is not reporting on our Trinity Aquifer;
The Trinity Aquifer is under Comal County and the vast majority of water wells in Comal County draw water from the Trinity Aquifer;
The Trinity Aquifer Group is a low production aquifer and recharge is often in terms of years not days. Research suggests that less than 10% of a rain event slowly makes its way to the water bearing level in the Trinity;
A very large volume of our drinking water is used to water lawns;
Many believe that the Trinity Aquifer did not recover following the drought of the 1950's. This was prior large population increases in Comal County. Increased usage has and will continue to put additional pressure on the Trinity Aquifer and recharge will be difficult if conservation is not given a high priority;
Once this current drought is behind us it is extraordinarily important that residents continue strict conservation practices if the Trinity has any chance of recovery (which could take years);
Individual well owners and those in a POA/HOA should consider voluntary conservation if not already doing so.
Additional Tips to help conserve your well's water, and help the Trinity Aquifer:
• Cover Pools! Evaporation is intense in Texas summer heat;
• Reduce shower times or draw less water for baths and turn off faucets;
• Only run dishwasher and washing machines with full loads;
• Consider using rainwater for outdoor irrigation in the future;
• Avoid washing of vehicles unless at a commercial car wash that recycles water;
• Don't lose your drinking water by washing of driveways, sidewalks, or streets;
When it starts raining again and we get out of drought:
• Invest in a rainwater harvesting system! Properly sized systems can support a family of four on 12” of rain per year. We usually average 30 - 33”;
• Replant with Native or adapted plants that require little or no supplemental water after establishment;
• Cut lawn on highest setting and leave lawn clippings on lawn instead of bagging.
Current Drought Conditions
Texas is no stranger to drought. The seven-year drought of record in the 1950s was a turning point in Texas history that led to the formation of the Texas Water Development Board. Since then, Texas has faced several droughts including the most recent and most severe drought that began in 2011. The excellent Water Data for Texas website brings together relevant resources, links, data and analyses to provide updated information on drought in Texas.
This graph below is just a mock-up. For the current Texas Drought Monitor graphic of today's drought conditions click the picture or click here.